Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A flat triangular bone located at the front of the knee joint.
  • noun A dish-shaped anatomical formation.
  • noun A pan or dish in ancient Rome.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small pan, vase, or dish.
  • noun In anatomy, a small movable bone situated in front of the knee-joint, which it helps to form. Also called knee-pan, kneecap, rotula, or great sesamoid. See cuts under knee-joint, Catarrhina, and Elephantinæ.
  • noun In zoology: A cotyle; a cup-like formation.
  • noun A limpet of the genus Patella.
  • noun In entomology, the first joint of the coxa.
  • noun [capitalized] [NL.] In conchology, a Linnean genus of gastropods, type of the family Patellidæ, to which very different limits have been assigned.
  • noun In botany, an orbicular apothecium with a marginal rim.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A small dish, pan, or vase.
  • noun (Anat.) The kneecap; the kneepan; the cap of the knee.
  • noun (Zoöl.) A genus of marine gastropods, including many species of limpets. The shell has the form of a flattened cone. The common European limpet (Patella vulgata) is largely used for food.
  • noun (Bot.) A kind of apothecium in lichens, which is orbicular, flat, and sessile, and has a special rim not a part of the thallus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun anatomy The sesamoid bone of the knee; the kneecap.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a small flat triangular bone in front of the knee that protects the knee joint
  • noun type genus of the family Patellidae: common European limpets

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Latin, diminutive of patina, plate, pan; see paten.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin patella ("a small pan or dish, a plate; the kneepan, patella"), diminutive of patina ("a broad shallow dish, pan").

Examples

  • Temporary luxation of the patella is a common affection of the horse and fixed luxation of this bone also occurs.

    Lameness of the Horse Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1

  • Luxation of the patella is a condition wherein the articular portions of the femur and patella assume abnormal relations whether such displacement of the patella be momentary and capable of spontaneous reduction, or fixed and requiring corrective manipulation.

    Lameness of the Horse Veterinary Practitioners' Series, No. 1

  • The patella is a great defence to the front of the knee-joint, and distributes upon a large and tolerably even surface, during kneeling, the pressure which would otherwise fall upon the prominent ridges of the condyles; it also affords leverage to the Quadriceps femoris.

    III. Syndesmology. 7b. The Knee-joint

  • Among other defects with which it may be associated, absence or deficient development of the patella is the most frequent.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition.

  • MINNEAPOLIS -- J.J. Putz exited Thursday's 11-0 victory over the Twins with what the reliever described as patella inflammation in his right knee.

    Chicago White Sox News

  • I have researched luxating patella, that is the only thing that I can think that this is. awww .... poor little baby.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • In which part of your body is the "patella": the arm, the knee or the skull?

    The Friday Brain-teaser from Credo Reference

  • If the area just below the kneecap ( "patella") is tapped lightly, that tendon is struck and the thigh muscle is momentarily stretched.

    The Human Brain

  • Indeed, the lemma paella has become so deeply entrenched in our everyday parlance that it has lost its connection to the etymon patina (patena) and later patella, meaning

    Do Bianchi

  • Indeed, the lemma paella has become so deeply entrenched in our everyday parlance that it has lost its connection to the etymon patina (patena) and later patella, meaning

    Do Bianchi

Comments

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  • More elegant than "kneecap", IMHO.

    October 5, 2007

  • Nah. You want your kneecap to sound knobbly. Your latin words are no good here.

    October 5, 2007

  • I don't know...Patella would be as nice a name for a girl as lunette. :-)

    October 5, 2007

  • Patty for short?

    October 5, 2007

  • I think Patella would be an upmarket sort of chick (to be non-pc for a moment).

    October 5, 2007

  • Maybe Telly. Unless you'd confuse her w/ a bald guy that sucks lollipops.

    October 5, 2007